You’ve probably heard the news from USA Baseball about bat standards for Little League Baseball, AABC, Babe Ruth / Cal Ripken, Dixie, Little League, and PONY leagues, but if you haven’t, you might want to sit down – effective January 1, 2018, metal bats without USA Baseball certification mark are no longer allowed on the field.
What Has Changed?
According to USA Baseball, the reason for the change is to make metal bats perform more like wooden bats. According to the USA Baseball's site, "USA Baseball’s national member organizations believe that a wood-like performance standard will best provide for the long-term integrity of the game." Of course, players can still use any one-piece wood bat with or without the USA Baseball Certification mark (composite wooden bats must be certified). However, USA Baseball still encourages metal bats because "wood is a scarce resource,” which we know isn’t the truth.
USA Baseball insists that player safety was not the main reason for the change, saying that "Youth baseball continues to be one of the safest of all sports for youth participants." But at the same time, we’ve seen many articles about young player injuries resulting from the exit speed of metal bats. Over the years, metal bat standards have reduced the exit speed of bats significantly.
What Bats are Allowed?
With this change, we've heard from many parents shocked that their kid’s $300 to $400 metal bat is now obsolete. They're calling us to learn more about wooden bats as an option (which under Rule 27, our wood bats are a viable, legal option). Many parents are also going this route because the benefits extend well beyond safety- by building a better swing, batters using wood are driving the ball farther than they were before (check out our post on buying a youth baseball bat for more information).
Wood Bats are the Solution
The simple question is: if USA Baseball’s changing standards are calling for a more wood-like performance, then why not simply buy a wooden bat?
A Phoenix Bats wooden youth bat is a fraction of the price of most metal bats. Starting at $90, we suggest our popular K240 as the best of our youth bat models for players age 11 and under who are new to wood. Each of our bats can be customized for your player's height, hitting style and color preference. In addition, each bat includes free text engraving for complete personalization – just like our pros get. Compare that to prices upward of $400 from a major brand metal bat at a big box retailer.
Phoenix youth wood bats are made with the same high-quality and high-precision methods that are used to craft our professional-series bats. We back all of our bats with a 10-day money back guarantee, in addition to a 45-day warranty. As we like to say, if your player is breaking enough bats to equal the cost of those metal bats, it's time to take up another sport. With our hitting tips that come with each order, we'll have your youth crushing the ball for years to come.
Metal bats will constantly be the target of ever-changing standards, as they try to match the performance of wood. So why not go right to the source? We invite you to try Phoenix Bats and see the difference a wooden bat makes.